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Mihaela Giurgiu: An Eastern European Perspective on Philanthropy

In this episode we talk to Mihaela Giurgiu, a philanthropy expert from Romania who works as a mapping, research and peer-learning expert for the European Community Foundation Initiative and as an international network consultant for The Funding Initiative. Including:

  • What is the history and current context for civil society in Romania and across Central and Eastern Europe more broadly?
  • What is the general attitude of governments in CE Europe towards civil society and philanthropy?
  • What is the balance between local, regional, national and international approaches in philanthropic funding across CE Europe?
  • What kind of domestic causes receive philanthropic funding in Romania and other CE European countries?
  • What is the attitude of the public towards philanthropy in CE European countries?
  •  Do recent critiques of philanthropy in the US and UK resonate in the CE European context? Or do they feel less relevant?
  • Why have community foundations played such an important role in developing civil society and philanthropy in countries where the State previously crowded them out?
  • Does the diversity of forms and approaches shown by community foundations sometimes make it difficult to position them as part of a coherent movement?
  • Do community foundations tend to get forgotten in wider discussions about foundation philanthropy? If so, why?
  • What is the role of infrastructure bodies in helping civil society organisations and funders navigate and adapt to a rapidly-changing environment?
  • Has the Covid-19 pandemic increased awareness of the value of infrastructure? Will this result in more sustainable long-term funding?
  • What role can giving circles play in developing a culture of philanthropy?

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Learn from our past to better understand our future.

Philanthropy has a long and varied history. We’ve created bite-size chapters that you can jump in and out of to better understand philanthropy.